My First Trip to Sundance

After covering Hollywood for years, a reporter makes her first appearance at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. She finds it cold, crowded and congested, but not without some charms.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

The Sundance Film Festival is under way in the small town of Park City, Utah. The glamour, the stars, the crowds, the cold, had all made its way to Kim Masters' reporter's notebook.

KIM MASTERS: It's sort of incredible given the many long years that I've covered Hollywood, but I've never been to a film festival before. It may sound weak, but I approached Sundance with dread. I checked around and many Hollywood executives told me that Sundance is the seventh circle of hell: terrible weather, congested streets, no parking. I believe them.

Odd as it seems that it is quite cold in the seventh circle of hell.

(Soundbite of moving vehicle)

I think that we've lost our ability to feel.

MASTERS: The next day, I'm supposed to talk to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, so we brought a satellite phone in a heavy metal suitcase. It won't work in the condo that we've rented even after our intrepid producer, Amy Walters, puts the dish on the snow-encrusted barbecue on our balcony. So we drive out and parked in a snowy field. We put the dish on the roof. We're connected.

(Soundbite of recorded clip)

MELISSA BLOCK: From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL: And I'm Robert Siegel.

Our own Kim Masters is among those making their way through the snowdrifts at Sundance. And I gather everything's just freezing solid there where you're at?

MASTERS: We had actually seen our thermometer going to minus three, and there's quite a lot of snow.

So now we're launched. We get our interviews with studio executives.

Hi.

Unidentified Man: How are you? We've met for years, though.

MASTERS: Then deal with the serious business of Sundance. We check out a few movies.

We're four seats away from Robert Redford.

But we also want to see the other side of Sundance, the carnival.

(Soundbite of music)

MASTERS: This is a big branding opportunity and dozens of companies are giving away their wares. Many of the shops on Main Street have been transformed into swag dispensary.

Unidentified Woman: It's really a fusion, if you will.

MASTERS: Project Greenhouse features what is described as luxury eco design. While you check out the environmentally correct jewelry and clothing, you can also get a free facial and massage. We, at NPR, are not supposed to accept really good swag, but it seemed okay to sample a little eco lotion and indulge in a hand massage.

Unidentified Woman: One of these two base ingredients are organic shea butter and organic cocoa butter. How does that feel so far?

MASTERS: That feels pretty good, actually.

(Soundbite of music)

MASTERS: You know, it is cold, crowded and congested at Sundance. But, really, it's not all that.

SIMON: NPR's Kim Masters sounds as if she has very relaxed, soft hands, doesn't she?

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